Prayer to start the Novena each day:
V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Mediatrix between God and mankind, admirable Mary, by your birth you perfected the joy of all the children of Adam, who, through you, have received the Author of Grace, for He has made you the treasurer of all the graces which are imparted to us.
May your birth be a special cause of joy to my soul by obtaining for me from God, eternal salvation and all the graces necessary to obtain it.
Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…
(State your intentions)
Your Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, was the herald of joy to the whole world; since from you arose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, who, destroying the curse, bestowed the blessing, and confounding death, rewarded us with life everlasting.
V. Let us celebrate with joy the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
R. That she may intercede for us with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us pray:
Grant to us your servants, we beseech you, O Lord, the gift of Your heavenly grace, that as our salvation was begun in the child-bearing of the Blessed Virgin, so from this solemn festival of her Nativity may we obtain an increase of peace. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Church celebrates with great joy today the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This is one of the three birthdays that we celebrate in the Church – the Birth of Jesus (December 25), the Birth of John the Baptist (June 24) and the Birth of Mary.
If the nativity of Mary caused such joy in God and the angels, it shouldn’t cause any less joy in us, because, after all, it is to us to whom She comes close, for She is of our same nature and we are the ones who are to participate in the benefits of Her birth.
1.Our Joy — The birth of our Blessed Mother marks the end of a sad night… a night that has lasted centuries and in which humanity has lain in a tomb… Isaiah said that this night is like the shadows of death… that was how sad this night of sin was. There is nothing with which to compare it except the black and terrible clouds of death. Look at humanity parade about amidst the darkness without seeing even a faint ray of light… What a sad night! What would night be like if it lasted for days, years, centuries?! In the midst of this night the just souls shone like stars, resplendent with holiness… but all of their light combined, all of their clarity joined together, was nothing… it was insufficient to dissipate the fog. Do you not see what happens to the stars on a pitch black night? It is impossible to do anything with the light that they provide… we cannot take a step with certainty. We cannot see in the darkness and we are full of fear that we might fall.
But, while in the midst of such darkness, we see the breaking dawn extending over the horizon and its growing light and clarity. We feel an immense joy at its appearance. That is how Mary’s nativity appeared in the midst of those shadows of death… like the dawn of God… like the sweet dawn which is followed by the divine sunlight,illuminating the entire land.
At the coming of the light of dawn, the beasts and the nocturnal vermin flee and hide in their lairs. The innocent birds, on the other hand, sing and trill. The pure flowers blossom and exhale their sweet aromas, and everything is bathed in beautiful colors. When Mary was born the demons fled… the angels stood, the virtues flourished, and the entire world, rejoicing, was bathed in light. How beautiful! How poetic! How magnificent was such a dawn!
2.Your Joy— And you… are you not going to participate in this joy? Does what happened in the world not repeat itself in the heart of each one of us? Do you not experience it in your own heart? Do you not recognize these nights of sin… these shadows of death that flood your heart? Do you not see this light, the only light that can illuminate you, that can guide you, and that is Christ who comes to you through Mary? Do you not see Her as the dawn of your own life?
Imagine a dry, sandy area, without flowers, without plants, without life… but if we place an oasis there, soon a palm tree will spring up with its branches and its fruit. Look at a sterile and embittered vineyard that doesn’t yield anything except sour grapes… yet if you graft a healthy, sweet branch to it, then it will produce rich and sweet fruit. This image is your soul… a desert, a dry shoot… if it can produce something it is thanks to the grafted branch, that is, Christ, through Mary. If the land is not sterile, it is because of Mary, who sows in your heart this sweet oasis of Jesus.
Remember the cloud of Elijah, an image of Mary, which fertilized the dry land and made it produce fruit… That is how Mary fertilized the land, and through Her,She has blossomed virgins like lilies… lilies of chastity… roses of pure love… that is how they blossom in your heart. Do not forget that it is only through Her and for Her. Without Her, the land is dry… it is a sterile desert, a putrid branch… How could you not rejoice at such a glorious birth, one that is so beneficial for your soul?
3. Mary Always Precedes Jesus— Finally, this birth reminds us of the sweet truth that Mary always precedes Jesus. God desired that the sun should not be born first in Creation, but be preceded by the beautiful clarity of the dawn. He has done the same with the order of Grace. He did not want the Word made flesh to appear without the previous coming of a resplendent dawn, the Queen of the angels, conceived without sin. He did not want the sun of Justice, Jesus Christ, to come and shine without the Mother of Grace first being spiritually born in our souls. He didn’t want to establish His kingdom in this world without Mary being enthroned first. Examine yourself in the light of all of this… Look to see if you truly and practically do all things with Mary and through Mary, in order to please Jesus… If you know how to imitate Mary and empty yourself of yourself, fill yourself with Her, so that you may thereby clothe yourself and be filled with the same divine life in which Jesus wants to give your soul.